Do naps benefit children? A recent study finds that kids may not really benefit in preschool from a daytime nap. So when preschoolers say “But I don’t want to take a nap!” they may be telling their parents something important.
According to a study published in the Archive of Disease in Childhood, children who napped after age 2 needed more time to fall asleep at night. They also have poor sleep quality, and do not sleep through the night.
“The most significant finding from our study is that there is not support in the current body of research for enforcing naps in preschool children to improve their health and well-being,” said the study’s lead authors, Karen Thorpe and Sally Staton. “Napping in early childhood is often assumed to have universal benefit, and this assumption hasn’t really been questioned by research before now.”
The study authors caution against naming a certain age when naptime should end. Most children grow out of daytime napping by age 3 or 5.
“The age of 2 years should not be seen as a definitive point from which napping should be discouraged,” the researchers said. “Rather, parents of young children should respond to their child’s individual sleep need.”